Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Post Office

The Post Office in my locality is a small dingy looking place but it is set amidst nice trees and greenery and the serenity beckons me. However, recently there has been a change of guard and the current Post Master seems to be a reincarnation of the Lord Yama himself! He snarls, he shouts, is constantly pissed off and is a man with absolutely no peace whatsoever! If ever there is a person you better stay away from, then this is that man! If ever there is a person to whom you should literally mean when you say “Rest in Peace”, then this is that man!!

When I first went in, he was calm enough. I later realized that his sense of anger is directly proportional to the length of the queue awaiting his service! He gave me two forms to fill and as I started filling those forms, the queue started increasing and it gave me an insight to this man’s murderous moods!

It did not matter whether the customer was a small boy or a teenager or a woman in middle age or an aged man, the Post Master treated them with disdain, as if they were present just to irk him and he irked them royally back! An octogenarian came, puffing and panting, walking from God knows where, and asked for his pension. The Post Master rebuffed back at him that he was very busy and ordered the octogenarian to come post-lunch session on the coming Monday. Such was the dignity of the latter that he muttered “Olledagli” (which roughly translates to “Let good happen” or “Let there be good”). That shows the well-mannered-ness of the older generation who bestow goodness in spite of being rebuked by their youngsters.

To almost every customer, the Post Master was telling that he was over-worked and that he was too occupied during first half of the day and ordering them to come after 3 pm. As if he was the only guy in the world with lot of work! I realized that it was because of Government workers like this guy, who make customers visit them again and again to get work done, that the Indian Government has received all the flak over the period of last few decades.

But to the Post Master’s defense, the Post Office was really in a dilapidated state. An Indian PO is unlike a US PO which concentrates only on delivering letters and packages across the country. An Indian PO, because of lack of letters and packages to be delivered across the country as compared to USA, also acts as a bank and hence boasts of savings bank account and deposit schemes for its customers but - this comes as a shock - without a single computer! Imagine an office full of heavy account books whose pages are torn, the binding is almost eaten away, and the account balances are written in pen! Imagination boggles if one lets the mind to ask what happens in case of a fire! To top it, the Post Master does not have any other peer in the post office to assist him, and hence, with the growing queue, comes the growing agitation at the Government’s inability to provide basic amenities to function properly.

And the Government is rejoicing in finding a new symbol for the Indian Rupee. As someone commented on the Times of India, who are we kidding?!

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